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Old May 13, 2010, 11:30 AM
Xtreme Power Systems
Lake Havasu, AZ
Joined Jun 2005
15,496 Posts
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XPS 16 channel transmitter

It is no secret that we have been working on several transmitter designs over the past few years. We are getting closer to having products available.

We will have a 16 channel transmitter. The transmitter housing, gimbals, and such is being made for us by a company offshore. We are building the electronics, and doing the assembly here in the U.S.

I have decided to take a big step in the market by making the transmitter firmware open souce. This means that anyone could write firmware for the transmitter. There will be a basic set of functions in write protected memory to send packets, receive packets, clear the display, draw the display, store EEPROM data, output speech, play audio samples, do flash upgrades, etc. There will be about 60K of code space available for programmers to write their own transmitter code.

The frame rate is adjustable from 5ms to 20ms. This will be the fastest (least amount of latency) of any system available - period. In 6 channel burst mode, worst case latency will be 7.1ms, with a best case of 2.7ms.

I invision having "templates" for different radios. So, if you load a 9303 template, it looks and programs just like your 9303. If you like the 9C, you could load that template and it looks and programs like a 9C.

We are looking for serious developers. The OS (time critical) code is written in assembly (currently a PIC ds33 series is being used), but the main code could be written in C. If you are a developer with microcontroller skills and are interested in developing your own code for this transmitter (for free or for sale, whatever you choose), contact me via PM.

As we get closer to a release, we will be posting pictures and flight reports.

Oh - and the goal to this project was to make a really nice transmitter with built-in telemetry, audio, etc. for a MSRP of $1195.00 (like the rest of the high-end radios), but have a street price from XPS of just $249.
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Old May 13, 2010, 05:12 PM
Gotta Luv Gasser Helis..
_Peter's Avatar
Gold Coast, Qld , Australia
Joined Apr 2006
316 Posts
I want one!!! please make it mode switchable too, Mode 1 required here !!!

wonder how fast I could learn C programming....
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Old May 13, 2010, 05:27 PM
Proud RC Addict
United States, UT, American Fork
Joined Nov 2009
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LOL. The correct question is "Wonder how fast I can become good at C programming?"
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Old May 13, 2010, 07:35 PM
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Joined Feb 2010
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And I was freaking out about JR discontinued the JR 12 x MV.

Can't wait to see it.

Thanks guys!

Darren
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Old May 13, 2010, 09:38 PM
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Jinxx's Avatar
Kaneohe, HI
Joined Oct 2006
99 Posts
Roughly how soon will this be available? This year? Next 12 months? I'm very interested.
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Last edited by Jinxx; May 13, 2010 at 09:39 PM. Reason: spelling
Old May 13, 2010, 10:53 PM
Xtreme Power Systems
Lake Havasu, AZ
Joined Jun 2005
15,496 Posts
We plan for this year. We expect first prototypes in July.
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Old May 13, 2010, 11:08 PM
EDF all the way!
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Gilbert, Az
Joined Jun 1999
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Count me in.
Bob
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Old May 14, 2010, 06:25 AM
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twang's Avatar
Australia, QLD, King Scrub
Joined Jun 2005
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I'm looking for a new radio, looks like I found it. Please don't keep us waiting too long Jim. Why just "C" why not use VB or Java or all the above?
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Old May 14, 2010, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twang View Post
I'm looking for a new radio, looks like I found it. Please don't keep us waiting too long Jim. Why just "C" why not use VB or Java or all the above?
VB/Jave et al have far too great of processor/memory/code size (and every other kind of bloat) to run on an embedded processor. The only reason C works is because it translates almost directly to assembly. And assembly (which translates directly to machine instructions) is what you program embedded processors with.
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Old May 14, 2010, 09:42 AM
Xtreme Power Systems
Lake Havasu, AZ
Joined Jun 2005
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C is bloated enough... there is no way you could use some other higher level language as they almost always require interpreters... much like BASIC.

There will be an extensive library of function calls that programmers will be able to make for doing most of the important tasks, like LCD screen draws, audio controls, analog to digital conversions for all inputs having that ability, switch checking, button checking, timers, etc. There will even be two interrupt vectors available. By doing all of these functions in highly optimized assembly, it makes all of the vital functions as fast as possible and makes the most space available for those that want to make code to draw pretty pictures or something.
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Old May 14, 2010, 11:45 AM
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Colorado
Joined Oct 2004
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The concept of a highly configurable TX where you can program its features using C (or assembler) is great. However, the people who have the background and skills to do this are most likely your competitors. The average user, to whom this concept will appeal to the most, is pretty unlikely to have the tools, skills or inclination to want to develop applications. Kinda like the situation with telemetry.

I think a good way to do this would be to offer a Windows utility (done with Visual Studio, VB, etc.) that would allow an enduser to customize the every feature of the TX. You can provide canned configurations for the popular TX's (such as Futaba 8FG & 9C, JR 9303 & 11X, Airtronics, Spektrum, etc.) which can be modified and then downloaded to the TX and stored as tables in the dsPIC33 flash memory. These configurations can also be stored as customs on the users PC for later recall and further modifications. The utility will also allow the user to define what data is to be displayed on the LCD, conditions when a beep should sound, etc.

Also, consider allowing users to share/download these configuration files on your website.
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Old May 14, 2010, 12:15 PM
Registered User
Dallas, TX
Joined Jan 2005
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Jim,
Sounds like it will be a very flexible radio. I would be interested in pictures and information on gimbals, switch layout, and sliders. Any idea when you will be posting this information?

Alan
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Old May 14, 2010, 02:20 PM
Xtreme Power Systems
Lake Havasu, AZ
Joined Jun 2005
15,496 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmteo View Post
The concept of a highly configurable TX where you can program its features using C (or assembler) is great. However, the people who have the background and skills to do this are most likely your competitors. The average user, to whom this concept will appeal to the most, is pretty unlikely to have the tools, skills or inclination to want to develop applications. Kinda like the situation with telemetry.

I think a good way to do this would be to offer a Windows utility (done with Visual Studio, VB, etc.) that would allow an enduser to customize the every feature of the TX. You can provide canned configurations for the popular TX's (such as Futaba 8FG & 9C, JR 9303 & 11X, Airtronics, Spektrum, etc.) which can be modified and then downloaded to the TX and stored as tables in the dsPIC33 flash memory. These configurations can also be stored as customs on the users PC for later recall and further modifications. The utility will also allow the user to define what data is to be displayed on the LCD, conditions when a beep should sound, etc.

Also, consider allowing users to share/download these configuration files on your website.
That's all a given in the basic pacakge - fully customizable by the average user wirelessly via your PC. I already stated that there will be templates for various transmitter types so the programming and features might look just like your favorite transmitter.

You might be surprised at just how many open source projects there are for thousands of consumer type products like MP3 players, video players, emulation systems, the iPhone, etc. There are developers everywhere.

We are looking for people that want to develop their own code to allow features not available on other transmitters. Not everyone thinks alike, and some features may not be well suited for everyone, but if you have hundreds of options to choose from you are bound to find a setup that is perfect for you.

I have already been contacted by about a dozen qualified developers that want to be involved. That is great - the more the better.

Someone PM'd me about model memory... model memory is infinite with the SD media card usage.
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Old May 14, 2010, 04:45 PM
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Joined Jul 2008
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Very Exciting, can't wait to see it.
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Old May 14, 2010, 07:48 PM
Registered User
Tennessee
Joined Sep 2003
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Here's hoping that you or someone will develop a utility or routine that will allow me to emulate the Evo. My first programmable transmitter was the Micropro and I understood the logic behind the programming. When Ace went out of business, I tried Futaba and Hitec before Multiplex released the Evo. I understand the logic of Evo programming but never understood Futaba logic and always carried the Futaba manual in my tool box. My Evo Manual has been collecting dust for 4 years now and I WILL NEVER GO BACK TO THE ASIAN programming. When Evo style programming becomes available for your transmitter, my order will be in the mail within 24 hours.
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